|In their own words||The mission of EuroMed Rights is to promote and strengthen human rights and democratic reform in the Euro-Mediterranean region.|
- In 2020, total expenses were €4 million, of which €152,840 was spent on “Palestine, Israel & the Palestinians.”
- Donors include the European Commission, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Norway, Open Society Foundations, Church of Sweden, Ford Foundation, and Heinrich Boll Stiftung. (See below for full funding information.)
- Accuses Israel of “imposing collective punishment,” perpetrating “war crimes,” and violating international law.
- Maintains four “Working Groups,” one of which is the “Palestine, Israel and the Palestinian Working Group.” The Working Group focuses on “Accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity” and “The separation and fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian territory, including through Israel’s settlement policy and the Gaza closure.”
- The Working Group “works toward the end of the Israeli occupation…and the realization of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; securing the right of civilians, including Palestinians and Israelis, to protection under international law at the core of this work.”
- EuroMed claims that the “prolonged occupation is at the root of many violations and regularly triggers sporadic wars, resulting in grave breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law, including alleged war crimes.”
- In October 2021, EuroMed Rights urged the EU and its Member States to condemn the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs, including EuroMed Right’s member Al-Haq, as terrorist organizations. According to EuroMed Rights, “The EU and its Member states must speak up to condemn and to stop this unfair and unjustified move, publicly defend the concerned organisations, and address the Israeli-driven smear and defamation campaign that aims to silence Palestinian peaceful voices.”
- In May 2021, EuroMed Rights published an article questioning “Europe’s inaction” in Israel. According to EuroMed Rights, “European indifference has over time become complicity…Only the most complete and undisguised dehumanisation makes possible Israel’s slaughter of 200 human beings, including 58 children, without a single European country lifting a finger.”
- In March 2021, EuroMed Rights welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to EuroMed Rights President Wadih Al-Asmar “Today is an important day for international justice in the Euro-Mediterranean region. After decades of systematic impunity and international neglect of the thousands of Palestinian victims of the most egregious crimes, the Court has officially embarked on the road to justice, accountability and reparations for victims in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
- EuroMed Rights Executive Director Rasmus Alenius Boserup called on the “EU and its Member States to strongly support the ICC’s legitimacy from the escalating threats to its independence and mandate, and provide effective and decisive protection to Israeli and Palestinian human rights defenders and potential witnesses in the face of ongoing cases of smear, harassment and intimidation.”
- In June 2020, in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests, EuroMed Rights published an article stating that “Around the world people gasped in horror as George Floyd pleaded for his breath. His passing breathed new life into the fight against racism and thousands around the world took to the streets to denounce systemic racism, discrimination and police brutality… In Israel/Palestine, the situation is marked by the decades of dispossession, occupation and discrimination Palestinians have been subjected to by Israeli policies.”
- In March 2020, following the announcement of President Trump’s “Peace Plan,” EuroMed Rights published a statement that the “Trump plan entrenches this apartheid reality through further threatened annexation of occupied territory, the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Palestinians” (emphasis added). The statement further called for the EU to “terminate all European investment in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.”
- In September 2018, EuroMed Rights was a signatory on a letter to International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, calling to open an investigation as the “situation in Palestine is rapidly deteriorating and war crimes and crimes against humanity are allegedly frequently committed to entrench Israeli control over Palestinian territory and the Palestinian people” and there is a need to “prosecute and convict perpetrators, including high-level officials of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
- In December 2017, following President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, EuroMed Rights published a statement saying that “It seriously undermines the human rights of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, while encouraging and rewarding Israel’s illegal annexation and its unlawful occupation and fragmentation policies on the ground.”
- On June 2, 2017, EuroMed Rights held a press conference in Brussels titled “Israel & OPT: 50 years of occupation, 50 years of impunity” featuring Hagai El-Ad (B’Tselem), Shawan Jabarin (Al-Haq), and Mahmoud Abu Rahma (Al Mezan). According to EuroMed, “For 50 years, Israel has administered a pervasive system of control over Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), while denying them their right to self-determination and controlling virtually all aspects of their life without giving them any say.”
- Stated that ”it is believed that the Israeli government and its supporters might be behind” anonymous death threats against Shawan Jabarin, Al-Haq’s General Director.
- Calls upon the EU to “differentiate, in its relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the OPT including through steps to prevent illegal settlement products from accessing European markets” (emphasis added). Labeling and banning products from the West Bank is the first step in a broader strategy of imposing boycotts against Israel.
- Refers to BDS activists as individuals who “express non-violent opinions and advocate for change.”
- In September 2021, EuroMed Rights endorsed a report alleging to “investigate and expose the financial relationships between businesses involved in the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and European Financial Institutions (FIs).” According to EuroMed Rights, “These companies are at a high risk of being involved in violations of International Humanitarian Law and complicity in war crimes…The report also points out the way forward, with examples of companies that have divested from the Israeli settlement enterprise.”
- In November 2019, EuroMed Rights supported the decision of the European Court of Justice to apply a discriminatory labelling regime on products originating in the Israeli settlements. According to EuroMed Rights President Wadih Al-Asmar, “EU Member States should prevent goods and services originating in the illegal Israeli settlements from entering the European market and ensure European companies withdraw from settlement activities.”
- In 2018-2019, EuroMed Rights lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel. EuroMed Rights has signed multiple letters to the UN calling for the database to be implemented without further delay.
- In June 2017, to mark “50 years of occupation, 50 years of impunity,” EuroMed Rights called on the EU and its Member States to “clearly call for the full dismantling of all settlements and outposts in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and reject any efforts to recognise these areas as legal” as well as “preventing the entry of illegal settlement goods into the EU market” (emphasis added).
- In February 2017, EuroMed Rights submitted a letter and submission to the EU “warning against the risks of convening an EU-Israel Association Council and further depending relations with Israel in the coming months,” based on Israel’s “normalizing its prolonged occupation.”
- In May 2018, EuroMed Rights called on the UN Human Rights Council to launch an “independent investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Israel” in response to Gaza-border violence. The statement accused Israel of “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force… [that] may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” (emphasis added). The call ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
- In February 2018, EuroMed Rights signed a statement supporting the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel. According to the statement, “An effective database would give a glimmer of hope to the Palestinian people enduring half a century long military occupation, and stand as a reminder that the international community is committed to putting an end to the illegal settlement enterprise that is stifling their economy, depleting their natural resources, and undermining their human rights.”
- Called upon the EU to pressure Israel to withdraw the “NGO Transparency Bill” which provides Israeli democracy and civil society with the information necessary to assess the extent and impact of foreign government funding for political advocacy NGOs, some of which promote BDS against Israel.
- EuroMed Rights’s Executive Committee (EC) is elected every three years by the General Assembly. These individuals act “as the link between the Working Groups and the EC.” Many of the Members of the EC have previously worked for or have been involved in other politicized NGOs:
- EuroMed Rights disproportionately focuses on Israel and holds it responsible for the continuation of the conflict. Reflecting this one-sided bias, EuroMed Rights members in “Israel/OPT” are all highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict:
- Adalah rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish state, attempting to portray it as inherently racist and discriminatory; regularly lobbies the Israeli Supreme Court and international bodies to adopt its agenda.
- Highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, filing lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobbying for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- A number of Al-Mezan officials and employees are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, terrorist organizations designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. Additionally, Al-Mezan officials and board members often speak at PFLP events, and many have posted material on their social media accounts promoting terror groups or utilizing antisemitic imagery and rhetoric. For more information on Al-Mezan’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Al Mezan Center For Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
- Actively pursues its political agenda in the Israeli courts and the Knesset.
- B’Tselem’s publications reflect its political agenda – “dissent” and opposition to Israeli policy – in contrast to fact-based documentation of human rights violations and sound legal analysis. Under the leadership of Hagai El-Ad, beginning May 2014, dissent was prioritized as “little room is left among the Israeli public to allow for criticism of government policy.”
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
- PCHR describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem,” while regularly distorting or denying the context of terrorism against Israeli civilians.
- In an interview, PCHR director Raji Sourani admitted that he served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine…” He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012.
- In February 2014, the PFLP organized a ceremony in Gaza honoring Sourani for winning the “Alternative Noble (sic) Prize.”
- Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
- Accused Israeli forces of “resorting to extra-judicial killing, mass intimidation and collective punishment in order to maintain their grip on Palestinian territory in violation of basic international norms.”
- Supports BDS initiatives through participation in activities and events, signing of petitions and initiatives, and membership in BDS platforms.
- Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
- PCATI regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns of demonization in international forums.
- CEO Dr. Yishai Menuhin, previously the spokesperson for Yesh Gvul and a Hadash party candidate for the 17th Knesset, wrote, “if war crimes suspicions are not investigated in Israel, it is appropriate that they be investigated and that justice be served with their perpetrators in different courts.”
Selected List of Donations, 2017-2018 (amounts in €)
|Open Society Foundation||266,324||58,796
|Heinrich Boll Stiftung||7,448||15,842
|Sigrid Rausing Trust||112,684||117,432
|Church of Sweden||49,423||52,657
The only geographical or conflict-related working group in EMHRN is the Working Group on Palestine/Israel and Palestinians focusing on Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which allows for disproportionate allegations targeting Israel.
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